Solar install
Photo: Courtesy of Tim Martinez.

For Tim Martinez, installing solar panels has become a family affair. Martinez has worked in solar for more than 15 years. He started in California. Then a few years ago, he moved to his wife’s home state of Wisconsin. Now, three of his four children work alongside him.

Martinez: “They’ve always kind of been fascinated, and as soon as they got out of high school and college, they wanted to get involved. Currently I have two of my sons and one of my daughters working with me doing solar.”

A snowy state might not seem like a place for a family to find jobs that depend on the sun. But even in Wisconsin, the industry is growing. Between 2015 and 2017, solar jobs there grew by almost 50%.

Martinez: “This market actually reminds me of California when I first started doing solar out there, and it’s just gonna go up.”

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Nationally, solar jobs are growing, too. The Department of Labor predicts that, over the next decade, solar installation will be one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country.

So, as a dad and an industry insider, Martinez thinks working in solar is a smart path for his kids.

Martinez: “I mean, they had their choices. They enjoy solar, and they know for sure it’s going to be around for awhile.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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